With school back in session, that means more kids and cars will be on the road. This means both drivers and students need to be cautious. When you are driving in or around school zones, it's important to never be on your cell phone and that you are focused on the road.
Cell phone laws in Louisiana and Kentucky
In Louisiana, a new law prohibits drivers from using their cell phones in school zones. The few exceptions are: using mobile device while their car is parked and those reporting a crime or emergency. Those who are caught violating the law could be fined up to $175 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense. The law, however, does not prohibit using hands-free devices. This means you may use your cell phone if you can talk on it while it’s in a holder or hooked up to Bluetooth.
Related: Tips To Keep Kids Safe Around Kentucky School Zones
The cell phone law in Kentucky states that no one under the age of 18 may use a cell phone and all drivers, regardless of age, are not allowed to text and drive. Those drivers who are 18-years-old and older may use hands-free device, the GPS feature on cell phones and dial a phone number into a phone. If a driver is caught texting while driving, they will be fined $25 for the first offense and then $50, plus court costs for a second offense. Even though we may use hands-free devices, they can be just as distracting as a handheld phone. We need to always focus on the road. An accident can happen in a matter of seconds. If you're reading or writing a text message, you won't have time to react.
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is asking all motorists to stay alert and safe behind the wheel. Each year in the United States, approximately 450,000 public school buses travel 4.3 billion miles, transporting 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities. Just imagine the number of kids who are on the roads each school year.
In 2013, a total of 825 collisions were reported involving a school bus here in Kentucky. These incidents caused 316 injuries and one fatality. With that said, please pay close attention to the road, particularly when it’s dark because children may be crossing the road. More school-aged pedestrians have been killed between 7-8 a.m. and between 3-4 p.m. than any other time of the day. Also, maintain distance from school buses. Just one school bus getting caught in a traffic accident could mean several innocent lives suffering.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I encourage you to please pay attention to the road when driving in school zones. Not all kids understand traffic rules, yet, but we do. Let’s also remember to be patient because the roads are busier during the school year. If you have kids going back-to-school, teach them some safety tips. This will help keep everyone safe.